Leah Williamson was left in shock as the Arsenal defender missed the Gunners’ winner against Manchester City on Sunday. The England skipper was on the red carpet at the Pride of Britain Awards as Gabriel Martinelli’s deflected shot gave the Gunners a memorable win.
There was pandemonium at the Emirates when Nathan Ake couldn’t get out of the way of Martinelli’s powerful strike. It hit the Dutchman on the head and left Ederson helpless to send the Emirates Stadium crowd into raptures.
But five miles down the road at Grosvenor House, Arsenal women’s star Williamson was completely oblivious. She arrived ahead of the awards ceremony and was walking down the red carpet when one journalist called her over for a chat.
The first thing Williamson was told was that Arsenal were winning 1-0. Reporter Lucy Jones, who supports north London rivals Tottenham, said: “They’ve just scored, it’s 1-0.”
Williamson initially laughed before realising what Jones had said. Her face was a picture of pure surprise and excitement at the news.
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She replied: “Are you joking?”. To which the reporter said: “No, it is, 86th minute, yeah [Arsenal].”
Williamson turned round to the people she was with and said with a big smile on her face: “Did you hear that? Ok, that’s great, my phone is in my pocket.”
It was then pointed out that Williamson was wearing an Arsenal earring for the occasion. She said: “I can’t leave it at home with the boys [playing].
“Did you see my face then? That’s the best news I have had all day.”
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Arsenal have wanted to grow a larger connection between the men’s and women’s side. Williamson’s reaction made it clear that she is well and truly a Gunner at heart having been at the club since the age of nine.
Williamson is currently recovering from an ACL injury which saw her miss the Lionesses’ road to the World Cup final this summer. She insists she is on the mend and is looking to return at some point in the new year.
Williamson, who recently collected her OBE, said: “I am [busy]. I’ve had some time on my hands being injured. So I’m just living life a little bit.
“[The injury’s] great, there’s ups and downs, it’s a very long journey but it’s been smooth so far. After Christmas, I get to Christmas and after that I’m not putting a timeframe on it. I just want to be ready.”
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